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Many different brands and forms of oral antihistamines are available over the counter (OTC).
Oral antihistamines are available as pills, chewable tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, capsules, and liquid.
Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of a chemical called histamine that is responsible for many allergic symptoms.
Patients who experience significant allergic symptoms regularly may take daily antihistamines to keep their symptoms under control.
Antihistamines are divided into two categories, first generation or older agents and second generation or newer agents.
First generation antihistamines have many drawbacks including side effects of drowsiness and significant anticholinergic side effects that, for example, can cause difficulty urinating or constipation, and are therefore not used very often.
However, paradoxical stimulation ranging from excitation through to tremors, hallucinations and convulsions may occur.I will, however, briefly discuss the salient features of my favorites, and why I might consider one over the other. Furthermore, they need to be administered every 6-8 hours for true 24 hour effect.The three antihistamines that I am most likely to recommend to my patients are all “one a day” and although not perfect, are far better tolerated: Of the three, loratadine was the first to lose patent prior to which it was marketed as Claritin.Fexofenadine is less well-studied and is rated FDA pregnancy category C.First generation antihistamines are usually used on an as-needed basis or before bedtime to occasionally help with sleep.
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